Dale Earnhardt Jr. is his own man, and he's smart to avoid running #3 car in future
They’ll get their wish next Saturday at Daytona … where the car and Jr. are very capable of winning … but that’s probably going to be the last time, ever.
"I just want to go to the racetrack and run it once before I retire, and this will probably be it," he said. "After this, I'll probably never drive a car with a 3 on it again. I can pretty much say I'm 99% sure that will never happen again.”
"It's not [my number] to take and use whenever I feel like using it," Earnhardt continued. "You just don't grab the car keys off the counter and go run out the door and haul down the road with your dad's car. I didn't do it when he was alive, and I won't do it now. I'm borrowing it once, and then maybe sometime down the road some kid will come up, and he'll have a connection to the 3 -- whether it's through my father or whether it's what his number's been since he was playing teeball. Whatever, you know, that will be his. It will be someone else's."
This is a wise move by Dale Jr. He is his own man, and faces a good amount of struggles right now as he tries to get some more wins in his ride at Hendrick Motorsports. He is now the driver of the #88 car, and will be known that way for the rest of his career.
There is nothing for him to gain from running his dad’s number, even for a little while, in the future. Some fans might get a kick out of it, but it isn’t anything positive for Jr. All it would do is be a further reminder that he hasn’t achieved the results his father did on the track.
So I’m glad Jr. has cleared the air and say he’s 99 percent sure this coming weekend will be the only time he does the #3 thing for the rest of his career.
Some fans might be disappointed, but I’m sure if Jr. can string together some more good runs, make the Chase and contend for a championship, (and continue to do that in future years) which could be possible with his recently improved finishes, they’ll forget all about the lack of Jr. driving a #3 car in the future.
Become a fan of the Facebook page NASCARBeyond